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Shongololo Southern Cross

Duration
12 Days
Prices From:
US$ 4,395

Experience, on a relaxing train journey, 4 different countries, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland while taking in Victoria Falls, enjoying several game drives in 3 different wildlife parks including Kruger, exploring canyons, old mining towns and visiting Pretoria, Johannesburg and Maputo, Mozambique’s capital.


Join your Shongololo Express at Victoria Falls where you will have a walking tour around the Falls. The famous Victoria Falls measure some 1,688 metres (5,538 feet) across, with a drop of 100 metres (328 feet). The Falls are Zimbabwe's most famous attraction. Named by the locals as the 'Smoke that Thunders' or Musi O Tunya, these are the largest and possibly the most beautiful waterfalls in the world.

Travel next to the Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s largest wildlife area which contains a variety of animals and bird species but is best known for its prolific lion population. Have a game drive here.

In the evening, depart for Bulawayo. From where, the following morning, you will visit the Matobas National Park. Highlights here include a visit to the burial place of Cecil John Rhodes, who gave Zimbabwe its previous name of Rhodesia. Then visit one of the more accessible bushman caves of which there are many hidden among the hills.

Then continue to Somabhula where the next day, you will head into Antelope Park where, as optional activities, you have canoeing, a game drive, horseback game viewing, elephant-back riding, a bird-watching cruise and a walk with lions.

The train then continues to the Great Zimbabwe Ruins, the largest monument in Africa south of the Pyramids. It is an impressive monument. Here among the ruins of an ancient city built by the Rozwi people, you will discover how these ancient people lived and mined gold and silver. The tour is followed by lunch at the Great Zimbabwe Hotel after which travel through attractive granite hill country to Rutenga.

You will spend a whole day travelling through the Zimbabwean countryside eventually arriving at Klaserie in South Africa. The following morning, have a game drive in the Kapama Game Reserve followed by visit to a Wild Dog and Cheetah Project. Later, continue by train to Kaapmuiden

From here, the next day, depart by road for Swaziland where you will visit the Ngwenya Glass Factory and the capital, Mbabane. The tiny Kingdom of Swaziland is the second smallest country in Africa. Travel to Manzini enjoying amazing views of the Ezulwini Valley and the Komati River en route. This excursion into Swaziland will introduce you to everyday life in Africa's smallest kingdom. The Swazi Market is a bustling hive of activity and displays a wide variety of skilfully crafted woodcarvings, colourful textiles and superb basketwork for which Swazis are renowned.

Continue to Maputo after crossing into Mozambique where you will have a tour of the city. Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, is a city of contrasts and offers an exciting mix of cultures. The architecture is a blend of African, Portuguese and early Colonial with old Catholic churches side-by-side with mosques, fortresses, Victorian mansions and other buildings from a bygone era.

Later, cross into South Africa as the train heads to Malelane from where you will visit world renowned Kruger National Park which offers a wildlife experience second to none with its diversity of wildlife. You will enjoy a full day of game drives here.

Next stop is Nelspruit from where you will have an amazing experience visiting Pilgrim’s Rest where in 1873, gold was discovered in the area around this quaint town, now a living museum and national monument. Also visit the breathtaking Blyde River Canyon, a huge gorge carved into the face of an escarpment. The Three Rondavels, three huge rock spirals rising out of the far wall of the canyon and resembling African huts, present an unforgettable sight. Then it’s on to Bourke's Luck Potholes, strange deep cylindrical cavities formed by river erosion and floodwater. Finally take in the awesome God's Window where you have a panoramic view of a large part of the area.

Then continue to Pretoria, South Africa’s capital where you will have a tour of the city including the parliamentary Union Buildings, and the Voortrekker Monument which commemorates the Great Trek of the 1830s. Next, head south to Johannesburg for a tour of the city including Constitution Hill, Newtown to visit the Museum of Africa and Rosebank, which showcases a mix of first and third world cultures and arts and crafts from all over the African continent. Later, visit Soweto Infused with the history of the struggle against apartheid with one million people.

Soweto was made famous by the laws of Apartheid and is an amazing place to visit. Drive past the only street in Africa that once housed two Nobel Peace Laureates -- Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela.

After this, return to Pretoria where your Shongololo train tour comes to an end.


This Shongololo Express Train Journey can be taken in the reverse direction from Pretoria to Victoria Falls with the same inclusions. See full details on itinerary page.

At Goway we are experts at designing personalized itineraries to suit your special interests, tastes and budget. Let us arrange your ultimate travel experience today.
Duration
12 Days
Prices From:
US$ 4,395

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Pretoria and Soweto Tour

08.00am Check-in at Rovos Rail Station, Pretoria.

09.00am Tour of Pretoria and Soweto.

04.00pm Transfer to Rovos Rail Station. Train departs for Nelspruit.

Gauteng is the economic power house of the Southern African region and home to some of Africa's greatest cities. The name of the province is a Sotho word meaning "Place of Gold", which is very suitable since much of the wealth of Gauteng has derived from this precious metal.

Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa. You will visit the Union Buildings designed by the famous colonial English architect, Sir Herbert Baker. Completed in 1913, it now houses the offices of the President and Ministers. The buildings overlook the city towards the once fortified hills to the south. A grand bronze statue of "Oom Paul (Kruger)", the patriarch president of the ZAR or old Transvaal Republic, surrounded by his Boer fighters, dominates Church Square, at the centre of the city. Before leaving the capital behind, we visit the Voortrekker Monument, which commemorates the Great Trek of the 1830s.

Comprising one million people, Soweto was made famous by the laws of Apartheid. You will pass the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital (the largest hospital in the Southern Hemisphere) and also drive past the only street in Africa that once housed two Nobel Peace Laureates - Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. You will visit the Hector Petersen Memorial, named after the first student to lose his life in the 1976 uprising against the Apartheid government.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration11 Nights
Accommodation

Shongololo Express

More Info

Location View map
  • Shongololo Express



    Just like an ocean cruise, from the moment guests join the train, all their comforts are taken care of from accommodation, meals, recreation and sightseeing and - what a pleasure - there is only the need to unpack and pack once. The trains travel comfortably ...

    Just like an ocean cruise, from the moment guests join the train, all their comforts are taken care of from accommodation, meals, recreation and sightseeing and - what a pleasure - there is only the need to unpack and pack once.

    The trains travel comfortably and securely during the night to the next stop on the itinerary and guests awake each morning to a fresh vista on Africa and the anticipation of new and exciting adventures. In this way Shongololo Express guests can make the most of every precious holiday hour.

    The chefs offer menus that represent the many culinary influences of the region include Cape Dutch and Malay recipes as well as authentic African dishes. Meals are complemented by a selection of specially selected South African wines. It is the aim and the pleasure of every staff member on board to provide guests with a friendly and efficient service.

    More Details

Day 2

Panorama Route

9.00am Full-day panorama tour of Pilgrim's Rest, Bourke's Luck Potholes, God's Window.

5.00pm Rejoin train in Nelspruit and depart for Malelane.

In 1873, gold was discovered in the area around the quaint town of Pilgrim's Rest, now a living museum and national monument. The find attracted 1500 diggers and today, many of the restored miners' houses serve as shops. Further along the escarpment we find the great Blyde River Canyon, a gorge 26km in length and 800m deep, carved into the face of the escarpment. The Three Rondavels, three huge rock spirals rising out of the far wall of the canyon and resembling African huts, present an unforgettable sight. Bourke's Luck Potholes are strange deep cylindrical cavities formed by river erosion and floodwater. From the vantage point of God's Window we gaze across the sweeping landscape of the Lowveld, where subtle fragrances of the lower region rise to merge with the crisp winds of the Highveld.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 3

Kruger Park Game Drive

8.00am Full-day game drive in the Kruger Park (open-air vehicles optional).

6.00pm Return to the train in Malelane and depart for Mozambique.

The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience second to none. Its 2 million hectares are unrivalled in diversity of life forms and the park is a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques. The park is home to an impressive number of species: about 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 species of mammals. Game drives are conducted in our air-conditioned vehicles; open-air vehicles optional.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 4

City Tour of Maputo, Mozambique

9.00am City tour of Maputo, Mozambique.

3.30pm Return to the train for afternoon tea.

6.00pm After border formalities the train heads for Mpaka in Swaziland.

Maputo, the capital of Mozambique is a city of contrasts and offers an exciting mix of cultures. The city swings along to a beat like no other in Africa offering true African hospitality. Its architecture is a blend of African, Portuguese and early Colonial traditions with old Catholic churches side-by-side with mosques, fortresses, Victorian mansions and other buildings from a bygone era. Along the colourful beachfront there are many cafés and restaurants that specialise in Indian Ocean cuisine with its emphasis on the freshest seafood dishes prepared in traditional African-Portuguese ways.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 5

Kingdom of Swaziland Tour

8.30am Depart in vehicles from Mpaka. Visit Ngwenya Glass, Mbabane and Manzini.

6.45pm After border formalities at Mpaka, depart for Klaserie near Hoedspruit in Limpopo.

The tiny Kingdom of Swaziland covers only 17 000 square kilometres, making it the second smallest country in Africa. Travel to Manzini enjoying amazing views of the Ezulwini Valley and the Komati River en route. This excursion into Swaziland will introduce you to everyday life in Africa's smallest kingdom. The Swazi Market is a bustling hive of activity and displays a wide variety of skilfully crafted woodcarvings, colourful textiles and superb basketwork for which Swazis are renowned.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 6

Kapama Game Drive and Wild Dog & Cheetah Project

7.00am Morning game drive in Kapama Game Reserve followed by visit to the Wild Dog and Cheetah Project.

1.00pm Return to the train for lunch. The train departs for Tzaneen with an overnight stop at Louis Trichardt.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 7

Day on Board en Route to South Africa

Day on board the train travelling to Rutenge in Zimbabwe. Clear customs and immigration at Beitbridge.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 8

Great Zimbabwe Ruins Visit

9.00am Board vehicles and drive to the Great Zimbabwe Ruins.

5.00pm Rejoin train in Bannockburn.

Largest monument in Africa south of the Pyramids Great Zimbabwe, a hugely impressive monument situated on the south-eastern edge of the central plateau is the largest pre-colonial monument south of the Egyptian pyramids and is a celebrated achievement of the African people. Magical fables such as the story of King Solomon's Mines find their origins here amongst the ruins of an ancient city built by the Rozwi people. Discover how these ancient people lived and mined gold and silver, which were ultimately taken out of Africa by Arabic and Portuguese traders. The tour is followed by lunch at the Great Zimbabwe Hotel (guests' own account), after which we travel through attractive granite hill country to Rutenga.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 9

Antelope Park Visit

9.00am Full day at Antelope Park.

Optional extras include canoeing, game drive, horseback game viewing, elephant-back riding, bird-watching cruise, walk with lions.

5.30pm Return to the train and depart for Bulawayo.

Wildlife abound in Antelope Park.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 10

Matobo National Park Visit

9.00am Full-day tour of Matobo National Park. Visit the grave of Cecil John Rhodes as well as Bushmen caves.

6.00pm Return to the train and depart for Dete.

"Matobo" means 'bald headed ones' and aptly describes the dramatic hills and granite rocks of this area. Highlights include a visit to the burial place of Cecil John Rhodes, who gave Zimbabwe its previous name of Rhodesia. Afterwards, we will go and visit one of the more accessible bushman caves, of which there are many hidden amongst the hills.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 11

Hwange Reserve Game Drive

6.30am Game drive in Hwange Game Reserve.

6.00pm Depart for Thompson's Junction.

Situated in the northwest corner of Zimbabwe, Hwange National Park is the nation's largest wildlife area and contains a variety of animals and bird species, but is most well-known for its prolific lion population. Covering 1 462 000 hectares, Hwange is roughly the same size as Belgium.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 12

Victoria Falls Tour

10.00am Arrive Victoria Falls Station. Check out of train and walk across to Victoria Falls Hotel (luggage will be stored here).

11.00am Meet for a walking tour of the village and the falls.

4.00pm Meet at the hotel for a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River.

6.30pm Transfer back to Victoria Falls Hotel. Tour ends.

Forming the largest single curtain of falling water on earth (on average the curtain is 92m deep), the Victoria Falls' 500m plume of spray can be seen from as far as 70km away. The sound of the water can also be heard from kilometres away and up close this muted 'thunder' becomes a roar. In full flood, over 550 million litres of water per minute cascade over the brink. The vast width of the Falls, extending 1 708m, allow for many safe vantage points from where you will be able to get different views of the roiling water as it crashes into the gorge and whose constant spray maintains the rain forest. The forest is an attraction on its own with many of the trees marked to help identification. These include fig, mahogany, date palm, milkwood and ebony. The bird life is prolific and species that may be seen include the colourful sunbird and large trumpeter hornbill. Craft and curio shops abound with enough variety for everyone to find something to take home as a souvenir.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2017:

Southbound: Jan 19; Apr 27; Aug 03

Northbound:  Jan 5; Apr 13; Jul 20

2018:

Southbound: Jan 18; Apr 26; May 24; Sep 20

Northbound:  Jan 04; Apr 12; May 10; Sep 06

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 11 nights' accommodation
  • Rail transportation as indicated in the itinerary
  • Daily breakfast and dinner
  • Tours/sightseeing as indicated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel Insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees (if required)
  • Lunches
  • Beverages unless otherwise stated
  • Optional excursions
  • Gratuities
  • Laundry
  • Park fees
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please enquire.

TB SHONGOLPRE0216RA: SCN18 09 GC
6 Sep 2018
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